Husk Power Systems: Lightening up the Indian Rural Lives

** Won 2nd Prize in OIKOS Global Case Writing Competition on Social Entrepreneurship
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : LDEN085 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Social Entrepreneurship / Sustainable Business Model

Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2007-2012
Pub Date : 2013
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Husk Power System
Industry : Power, Off-grid Industry
Countries : India


Lack of electricity is still a major issue in many villages in India. Many of the remote villages are not yet electrified and even those that are, have power for just a few hours in a month. Pandey and his friends, who as children had lived without electricity, came up with a unique social entrepreneurship model to offer power to the poor who lived in the remote parts of India by using an indigenously developed modified gasifier system that runs on rice husk. The enterprise, Husk Power Systems (HPS), won many awards for its innovative business plan, social entrepreneurship, and clean energy.

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By working closely with the local communities, HPS positively impacted the social, economic, environmental, and human development of the people it served. Despite low pricing, HPS achieved a healthy profit margin which not only helped it to sustain itself but also to grow rapidly. By mid-2011, HPS had impacted the lives of 200,000 people living in more than 325 villages and hamlets by installing more than 80 power plants. HPS planned to expand its reach to 6,500 villages by increasing the number of plants to 2014 by the year 2014. This would not only create 7,000 local jobs but would also help save 750,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and US$ 50 million in cash for more than 5 million people.


  • Learn the unique technique and revenue model used by Husk Power Systems to produce and distribute cost-effective electricity under a sustainable business model in the least developed areas of India.
  • Understand how a social entrepreneur can build a sustainable business in developing markets, to serve the population at the Bottom of the Pyramid.
  • Study the off-grid electricity development and distribution approach of Husk Power Systems and compare and contrast it with the traditional grid power system.
  • Analyze Husk Power Systems’ factors of success and the need for social entrepreneurship in developing countries like India.
  • Contents:

      Page No.
    Introduction 1
    Electricity Crisis in India 2
    Idea Behind Husk Power Systems 3
    Operating Husk Power Systems 5
    Developing Sustainable Business Model 6
    Social and Environmental Impact 8
    Challenges in the Way 10
    The Road Ahead 12
    Exhibits 14


    Social Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Business Model, Husk Power System, Power Industry, Off-grid Industry, Rural Electricity Problem, Rural Electrification, Rice Husk, Bihar, Forex exchange risk, Gyanesh Pandey, Business Plan Competition, Electricity crisis In India, Funding of social enterprise, Gasifier system, Biomass Gasification, Acumen Funds, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and CISCO, Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy, Darden Annual Business Plan Competition, Dell Social Innovation Competition, Tech Museum, Royal Dutch Shell Foundation, Social And Environmental Impact

    Introduction - Next Page >>

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